Vancouver’s Granville Island – Part 1

Why You Should Visit

A bustling busy and intense industrial estate occupied an island in a city that was back then called Granville. In 1886 the city changed its name to Vancouver and Granville became a street and the island where its factories continued to churn away. As industry died down, wars happened and so did depressions, soon the once heaving lots barns and cabins that sat on this island were vacant, leaving a shell of once was behind it. In the 70’s the concrete laden ground was replaced with turf and grass made its debut on the spot of land once dedicated to hard labour. Since then the green has flourished and the empty lots have been repainted, redesigned and re-occupied.

Today Granville Island is a completely different environment to what it originated as, heavy machinery has been replaced by greenery and large factories have been replaced with lots and lots of tiny independent shops. Instead of a place for work, the island is now a destination for delightful leisure activity. What was once quite an unsightly and soulless strip of factories is now a colourful and vibrant hub for like-minded modern folk to gather and enjoy their time here. With several of the old buildings still sitting on its skyline like historical monuments, the island is a constant reminder that even the most uninviting places can be transformed into something everyone can enjoy.

Shopping at Granville

It’s true that the island is now a go to destination for shoppers all over the Canada who flock here to browse the unique and diverse selection of wares on display. With over two hundred different outlets on the island its no wonder that it takes more than a day to fully soak in all that this place has to offer. There are places for kids where they can buy fun costumes and clothes, there are outlets dedicated to baby clothes and accessories and even a shop entirely for kids’ footwear. And of course, no kids will be compliant in shopping if their aren’t toys involved, luckily there are multiple toy shops that cater to different ages and all have shelves full of fun gifts to big birthday present worthy treats.

Most people you will see getting delightfully lost in the stores here however are adults. Thanks to the island’s many independent sellers, the content available here is often hard to come by anywhere else, some items are only sold at the stands here and nowhere else. This means that one of a kind clothes, jewelry and even furniture are all on display here often with the creator at hand to give insight on the pieces. What makes Granville so highly regarded is that it invites artisans to come and set up shop here which is great for smaller businesses and fantastic for customers who can support them. It also means that for those looking for something truly special the designers and artists at the stalls can offer customised content. This is more than just engravings, it means commissioned pieces of woodwork for your home, perfect fitting dresses for special occasions and personalised art.

Kristen